Open Dharke-Sitapaila road for all seasons

Published On: October 2, 2018 02:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Traveling to Kathmandu through Naubise-Nagdhunga road section or vice versa becomes an ordeal-like situation for both passengers as well as drivers. The vehicles coming to Kathmandu through Mungling and Narayanghat run smoothly. With the completion of widening and repair of Narayanghat-Mungling road, travelers have experienced huge relief these days. But problems start right after vehicles arrive Naubise, a small market town at the foot of Thankot. Either all vehicles come to a standstill or move at snail’s pace. And it takes hours to penetrate through this narrow section of the road before the vehicles reach Thankot and sometimes as many hours to reach Kalanki from Thankot. We know why: The Naubise-Nagdhunga road is too narrow and vehicle flow on this stretch is too dense and high. During the festival seasons like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath—when millions leave the Valley to visit their hometown—traveling through this section of the road becomes a nightmare.

With Dashain only a fortnight away, we have already started to face this chaos. Vehicles line up in serpentine queues to cross through this section of the road from either side—from Thankot and from Naubise side. And there is virtually little or no mobility at times. In this context, the report that concerned authorities are making preparations to use Dharke-Sitapaila section of the road as the alternative to Naubise-Nagdhunga road is a welcome relief. We urge them to sincerely work on this much-needed alternative route. The alternative route of Dharke-Sitapaila is 23 kilometers while Dharke-Kalanki is 25 kilometers long. Thus traveling through this stretch, passengers are more likely to arrive or leave Kathmandu valley faster than with Naubise-Nagdhunga section. It is vital to pursue this work because if vehicles get halted due to breakdown along the Naubise-Nagdhunga road, there is no space to sideline the vehicles for repairing and the road will be choked with traffic even if few vehicles stop working or get stuck on the way.

Naubise-Nagdhunga road is narrow with several turnings. When it was constructed decades back, the present day traffic situation was not foreseen. The road was constructed with the aim of facilitating 1,000 vehicles while more than 10,000 vehicles ply the road at present. Yes, Dharke-Sitapaila route is fraught with its own troubles: the road is dusty and has many potholes. But given the will, the Department of Road can fix it within a short time, at least before Dashain. When this section of the road becomes functional half of the vehicles, at least light ones, plying through Nagdhunga-Naubise can be routed through this, which will ease the congestion along Nagdhunga-Naubise. If the Department of Road can realize this plan, it will come as a big relief to the people who leave Kathmandu or who leave for Kathmandu from outside. In fact, Dharke-Sitapaila section should be made operational round the year because finding an alternative route in this section has become imperative. Naubise-Nagdhunga is already congested. We hope the road authorities will give something for the people to cheer this Dashain.

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